Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, over the weekend via his twitter handle, announced that he held talks with members of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers. Speaking to a selected group of journalists at the end of a stakeholder’s meeting of the Southern senatorial zone of Plateau State on Saturday July 16th, Dalung said he took a two-hour journey on the sea to Oporoza in Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta state last Wednesday July 13th where he met with the leadership of the NDA who gave him a sealed hand-written letter to deliver to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“On reaching the community after the two-hour journey on the high sea, I met with the members of the communities who told me that their dream was to be included in the Nigerian project, that the education facilities and other basic social amenities are almost non-existent in the communities. They also raised concern of incessant attacks by the Nigerian Military. As a youth minister, I know the Avengers are mostly youths who have potentials to be great citizens of this country.” Dalung stated that after meeting with the communities, he was escorted by the Niger Delta ambassadors to the leadership of Avengers who gave him a hand-written letter specifying their demands which he said he was yet to present to the President. According to him, members of the militant group raised three important issues “The issues include the Niger-Delta Maritime University, pipeline community policing which they said the government had denied them, and the inability of the government to continue with the amnesty programme established by former President Umaru Musa Yarádua Yar’Adua. After going round some of the communities, I noticed that government projects were almost non-existent. I saw a secondary school signboard somewhere but the school is yet to be developed, the community has a clinic but still at the foundation level and a borehole that is not functional.”he said